Oral Health Kansas Advocacy • Public Awareness Education

Mouth Matters

16% of children in Kansas had one or more emotional, behavioral, or developmental condition in 2011/2012.


Overarching Goal

To improve the oral health of children and youth with special health care needs


bullet  Increase access to professional dental care for children and youth needing specialized care
bullet  Offer continuing dental education programs focusing on children and youth with special health care needs
bullet  Provide educational workshops on oral health care to all who support the health and development of children and youth with special health care needs
bullet  Maintain a statewide network of dental hygienists who are oral health educators


bullet  Bureau of Oral Health Kansas Department of Health and Environment
bullet  Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Kansas Department of Health and Environment
bullet  Kansas City Specialty Clinics
bullet  Wichita Specialty Clinics
bullet  Families Together, Inc.
bullet  Kansas Cavity Free Kids at Kansas Health Start Association


Children with

DIFFERING abilities

Children and youth who have special health care needs may also need specialized dental care. When people have physical, intellectual or emotional disabilities, they may have conditions that interfere with effective daily dental hygiene care.  In addition, they may be unable to access dental care that meets their specialized needs without driving long distances or waiting months to see a specialist.

Oral Health Kansas established several programs designed to support children and youth needs for individualized and specialized oral health care. These include partnering with state and local agencies serving children and youth as well as schools, distributing public awareness and oral health educational materials, and providing education and training opportunities for all who support the healthy development of children and youth.

Professional Dental Care

Specialized dental care for children and youth can be accessed through a number of private and public health dentists located throughout the state.

bullet American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry – Find a Pediatric Dentist
bullet Kansas safety net clinics that serve people with disabilities
bullet University of Missouri Kansas City Dental School – Pediatric Dentistry
bullet Children’s Mercy Kansas City Pediatric Dentistry


bullet Newsletter Articles – Oral Health Kansas provides articles for state and local newsletters focusing on issues related to oral health for all children and youth. 
bullet Tips & Tricks – OHK offers more than 35 one-page descriptions of ways to have good dental health 


There are unique challenges to assisting people with developmental disabilities. These videos provide guidance for daily dental care at home and ways to have a successful dental visit.

D - Termined Program – Successful dental office visits for children – teaching families how to participate: David Tessini, DDS, Pediatric Dentist


Brushing the teeth of others – a 12 minute video produced by Kansas Dental Association eaturing an occupational therapist demonstrating assisted guidance with adolescents. This film is designed to provide some basic toothbrushing guidance for caregivers. It examines five students at the Heartspring School in Wichita, KS, with instruction by Tim Koontz, an occupational therapist at the school.



Pediatric Oral Health Interfaces Background Paper: Children With Special Health Care Needs; Patient, Professional and Systems Issues
  - Paul S. Casamassimo, DDS, MS

Bureau of Oral Health Kansas Department of Health and Environment: Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research:
bullet  Strategies for Providing Oral Care to People With Developmental Disabilities
bullet  How Does Diabetes Affect The Mouth
bullet  Heart Disease and Oral Health
bullet  Cancer Treatment and Oral Health
bullet  Cleft Lip and Palate
bullet  Dental Care Every Day – A Caregiver’s Guide
bullet  Practical Oral Care for People with Cerebral Palsy
bullet  Practical Oral Care for People with Down Syndrome
bullet  Practical Oral Care for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Oral Health Services for Children and Adolescents with Special Health Care Needs – A Resource Guide

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